Marketing 101: Does Everyone Know What Makes You Different?

We recently wrote a blog entry discussing the importance of differentiation within your marketplace. Without differentiating your business from the competition, you’re going to find it difficult to bring in new clients—and especially difficult to charge the premium rates you desire. We discussed several effective ways to differentiate yourself—through exceptional service, by establishing a track record of success, by offering unique products and services, and so on. (You can read that blog entry here.)

Today, we’re going to take the next step in this process by asking this question: Does your market know what makes you different?

It’s a simple point – you may have a unique value proposition for your customers, but if they don’t recognize it, it won’t help you. It sounds obvious, but ask yourself:

If you’ve won awards, do your customers know it?
If you’ve written a book, is your market aware of it?
If you speak regularly, do prospects know about it?

And so forth. If we’re honest, just about all of us would admit that we have unique, valuable abilities or accomplishments that our customers and products don’t know about. And the failure to communicate those points of differentiation could be costly.

What to do about it?

First, take some time to jot down your points of differentiation. (Again, you can refer to this blog entry if you need help figuring these out.) You may also want to rank these points of differentiation numerically, from “most important” to your market to “least important.”

Now look at this list and honestly evaluate how “visible” these points of differentiation are. Who knows about them?Everyone who’s heard your name? Prospects who have gone through your consultation  process? Regular readers of your blog? Only long-term clients?

Identify the points of differentiation that need more visibility and get to work. Ideas include –

Make sure key points of differentiation are prominent on your website. (i.e. awards, industry recognition, books published, etc)

Highlight major accomplishments on social media. You want to do this tactfully because you don’t want to brag… but something like “Our firm is proud and humbled to join previous recipients of XYZ…” works well.

Include a summary of your points of differentiation on your proposal or quote. Hopefully you’ll be able to communicate these points well before you’re delivering a proposal, but it’s always a good idea to reinforce them.

Write and speak! If your personal expertise and experience is a key differentiator, demonstrate your knowledge by writing a book, publishing blog entries and articles, or speaking at seminars and other industry events.

We’re only scratching the surface—the opportunities to publicize your points of differentiation are endless. But if you’d like to brainstorm, give us a call today!

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is an internet marketing and branding firm for lawyers. Our goal is to help our clients create an online presence that positions them as a credible expert in their field, keeps them connected with their network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find them!